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Logging road threatens rare peat dome, tigers
Date:3/25/2008

Pekanbaru, INDONESIA In an investigative report published today by Eyes on the Forest, evidence shows that a new logging road in Riau Province -- strongly indicated as illegally built by companies connected to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) -- is cutting into the heart of Sumatras largest contiguous peatland forest, a rare hydrological ecosystem that acts as one of the planets biggest carbon stores.

The road would allow APP and affiliated companies to restart clearance of natural forest and destruction of deep peat soil at any time in a globally recognized conservation area, according to Eyes on the Forest, a coalition of local NGO network Jikalahari, Walhi Riau, and WWF-Indonesia. The Kampar peninsula is one of the worlds largest contiguous tropical peat swamp forests, with more carbon per hectare than any other ecosystem on Earth.

It is morally reprehensible for one of the worlds largest paper companies to so brazenly ignore Indonesian laws and destroy the natural resources that belong to the people of Riau, said Teguh Surya of Walhi Riau. We strongly urge APP to join the ranks of responsible businesses and conduct its operations within the law. Until that time, the worlds paper buyers and investors should stop doing business with APP.

The Kampar peninsula area is also considered one of the last havens for critically endangered Sumatran tigers, whose wild population is estimated to be down to just 400-500. The landscape was designated a regional priority tiger conservation landscape by the worlds leading tiger scientists in 2006. A preliminary estimate by WWF-Indonesia shows that a well-managed Kampar peninsula could be home to as many as 60 tigers.

Even as our investigators were out surveying the site last month, they came across tiger tracks walking along the APP logging road, said Nursamsu of WWF-Indonesia and Eyes on the Forest coordinator. But the tigers of Kampar dont stand a chance once APP begins logging full-scale and
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Contact: Jan Vertefeuille
janv@wwfus.org
202-861-8362
World Wildlife Fund
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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